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Impressions of What Milwaukee's Sustainability Conference Can Achieve

Thursday marks the midpoint of the 11th annual Sustainability Summit  in Milwaukee

We gathered reflections from a few participants on the value of such a gathering.

Jessica Cohodes, Transition Milwaukee

“We have access to over 200 grassroots and nonprofit organizations working for bottom-up solutions towards all elements of sustainability. It’s great to hear from organizations that have been successful at fighting climate action and working toward sustainability at a global scale. Now, what I’d like to suggest, we need to work towards is scaling back and working toward our immediate surroundings. So, we have to take these single issues examples and apply them to a smaller scale.”

Matthew Rochte, Milwaukee Sustainability Roundtable

“We are gathering all of the region’s largest companies and their sustainability leaders and corporate social.responsibility leaders to find ways to collaborate and make Milwaukee more sustainable. The Summit is not all about conservation, not all about being green, it’s about looking at where are the opportunities – how can we come together to collaborate, how can we come together to make things happen.”

Jessie Willard, Marquette University Sophomore

“I think the Summit is a really great networking tool for students. It teaches us to branch out and reach out to adults, because it’s sometimes intimidating to walk up to a person you’ve never met and introduce yourself and sell yourself and your story.”

Nathan Nissen (front right) with Kohler team at summit.

Nathan Nissen, Kohler Co.

"I’m working on our footprint reduction projects – energy conservation, greenhouse gas reduction, water conservation and waste reduction. I can give you a concrete example of a direct impact of the Sustainability Summit. The last conference I went to I met Robert Noble from Noble Technologies. He makes a product made out of fiber and heat and pressure. Now we’re talking with them about using their material in our materials. And also we’re talking about using some of our waste materials as a raw material for their company. So the last conference I attended really paid a big dividend.”

Caroline Villa, Marquette University Junior

“I’m a mechanical engineering student. I’m a member of the Engineers Without Borders group and the Summit reached out to us to come in and put up our posters to show how we help communities with reused materials – all renewable sources – and how it impacts communities I think it’s really cool what the Sustainability Summit does, especially allowing students to come for free and be able see globally there is a need for water and resources and I think that’s something we can all participate in.”

Susan is WUWM's environmental reporter.<br/>